recommended reading

Agency Email Alerts and Bulletins Dropped Sharply During Shutdown

alexmillos/Shutterstock.com

This story has been updated to reflect the end of the government shutdown.

Mass emails from government agencies to citizens dropped by more than four-fifths during the partial government shutdown that was sparked by a budget impasse Oct. 1 and drew to a close late Wednesday.

The company GovDelivery manages email alert and bulletin systems for about half of federal agencies. Those emails can range from science agencies’ newsletters to storm alerts from the National Weather Service.

During the last full week before the shutdown began, GovDelivery’s systems sent more than 650,000 government emails to more than 66 million subscribers on behalf of 170 federal organizations, according to figures supplied by the company.

During the week of Oct. 6, when the shutdown was in full swing, GovDelivery sent fewer than 1,200 emails to just 17 million subscribers from fewer than 75 federal organizations, the company said.

The organizations that continued to send messages were mostly within the Defense and Homeland Security departments or the military services, GovDelivery spokeswoman Michelle Musburger said.

The top message senders in government typically focus in health and weather information, according to a GovDelivery infographic. The Health and Human Services Department and the Commerce Department, which oversees the National Weather Service, both furloughed more than half of their employees during the shutdown.

Government communications via Web updates and social media also declined significantly during the shutdown.

GovDelivery declined to give agency-specific information about shutdown email traffic, but offered two anonymized examples. According to the company:

One agency that “typically deals with emergencies” sent out:

  • 73 bulletins to more than 2.2 million stakeholders the week of Sept. 22
  • 62 bulletins to more than 1.8 million stakeholders the week of Sept. 29
  • And just 37 bulletins to about 615,000 stakeholders the week of Oct. 6

Another agency that “typically deals with aerospace and technology” sent out:

  • 21 bulletins to more than 4.3 million stakeholders the week of Sept. 22
  • 6 bulletins to just over 1 million stakeholders the week of Sept. 29
  • And no bulletins at all the week of Oct. 6

---

Get the Nextgov iPhone app to keep up with government technology news.

(Image via alexmillos/Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.